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UniSA collaboration for a double-barrelled PhD to advance industry expertise

The University of South Australia will take Australia’s next-generation industry expertise to the next level with the signing of a collaborative research agreement with French University IMT Atlantique. 

The special study program will see PhD students graduate with a qualification from both institutions and will require them to spend a year in each country while they are doing their postgraduate research.


In France to seal the deal for the new PhD, Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the arrangement will strengthen research ties between South Australia and France and will build research depth in areas such as psychology, human factors and engineering.

Professor Lloyd said, “This presents an enviable opportunity for students and will ensure that the research they do while undertaking their PhD is internationally informed.”

“We’re excited to start recruiting for PhD candidates especially in areas that will support the creation of knowledge for the naval and defence sectors,” Professor Lloyd added. 

The PhD collaboration is underpinned by UniSA’s growing links with France through a range of student exchange programs with French universities, research collaborations and professional partnerships.



In 2017, as part of the Australian Technology Network (ATN), UniSA signed an MOU with the French Embassy in Australia that would give ATN students opportunities for six-month internships at French education institutions.

The ATN is made up of four of the country’s most innovative and enterprising universities: the University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, the University of South Australia and Curtin University.

ATN universities typically have deep expertise in the application and interpretation of the latest technologies and big data. They couple these strengths with a commitment to social justice, meaning they excel at projects that seek to improve social and economic outcomes through harnessing the transformative power of technological disruption.

The ATN are research-intensive universities, with teams that lead the world in their respective fields of discovery. Importantly, they are dedicated to making real-world, practical impacts through their research, often in partnership with industry.

This industry focus permeates their cutting-edge approach to teaching, ensuring students are connected with the workforce during their time at university and work-ready upon graduation for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Since then, UniSA has partnered in the Western Alliance for Scientific Actions with Australia (WASAA), which enhances collaboration between a range of French universities and colleges, including IMT Atlantique.

WASAA (Western Alliance for Scientific Actions with Australia) is a consortium of French higher education institutions in Western France interested in establishing partnerships with higher education institutions in South Australia.

And in 2018, UniSA was funded under the SA government’s South Australia-Brittany Research Collaboration Grants to undertake two Industry 4.0 projects in France looking at enhanced STEM and engineering teaching led by Professor David Cropley and a project looking at developing a collaborative approach to human factors research in the naval industry led by Professor Siobhan Banks.

The first of the cotutelle PhD candidates will commence in the next six months.

UniSA collaboration for a double-barrelled PhD to advance industry expertise
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